3 Oct 2008

Audrey has arrived!

We're pretty excited around here - the second 'Audrey' book has finally reached the bookshops!

The Australian outback of 1930 is Audrey's backyard in the first book, Audrey of the Outback, and Audrey is a girl with a lot on her mind. Her dad has gone away to work, her brother Price thinks he's too old for games, and little Dougie likes pretending to be a bird.

In this delightful story by Christine Harris, Audrey tries being a swagman, a man, a school teacher and a pirate – all with dire consequences! She is shadowed by the ever–loyal Stumpy – but who is he - what is he? You'll need to read the book to find out!

In the newly released Audrey goes to Town, Audrey's family go to the tiny outback town of Beltana, and Audrey enjoys making new friends and seeing amazing sights like houses with real glass in the windows! When Audrey's mum is suddenly taken to hospital, Audrey and her little brother are stranded with strict Mrs Paterson, who has some very particular ideas about "good" behaviour.

Can Audrey make friends with this lonely old lady who keeps her heart in a cage? Jemimah, for one, can't wait to find out. This is certainly a book we'll be buying when next 'Jemimah goes to Town'!

Written in a similar vein to Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking, the Audrey books are well written, lively, enjoyable and definitely 'Living'. To me they are modern Australian living books.

I sometimes wonder what Miss Mason would think of the books we consider Living today. Charlotte Mason was interested in using the best books. If a better book came along, she'd use it. What would she think of us using primarily books written a century (or more) ago?

Let us remember, of course, that most of the older books we read in AO are Classics. They've stood the test of time because they are beautifully written. They use rich vocabulary, more complex sentence structure, and contain more ideas per page than modern books. That's why they're still in print so many years later.Many recently written books, on the other hand, use watered down language, poor sentence structure and are not much more than pages and pages of twaddle.

So what about the Audrey books then? Well, they're written simply - Jemimah can read them, but they're not dumbed down. The grammar is correct and they're a lot of fun. The illustrations, by Ann James, are good, but don't replace the child's own imagination. They speak about our own Australian history and children will know more about our own country between the wars. Mostly, kids love them, and I think that's one of the most important reasons of all. Kids who are raised on a diet of good literature hate twaddle, and they don't hate Audrey - they think she's great!!

You can read the first chapter of Audrey goes to Town online here

You can also join The Audrey Club. Read all about Audrey on her own website:


You can even get teacher's notes, colouring pages, printable bookmarks and crossword puzzles here.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say, Audrey's homeschooled!!


  1. Hi, just discovered your blog today. What a great resource. It seems we have a some common interests.
    We hadn't heard of Audrey before but my daughter will try to get the book at the next libary visit.

  2. Thanks for your comments - I am a bit obsessed, I think!

    Audrey is great - at least check out the website!! You can find Jemimah's comments on there at the moment - she is thrilled to bits!


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